Group seeks to collect old face shields to be used as eco-lumber component

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2021 05:34 PM

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MANILA – A social enterprise is calling on the public to donate their plastic face shields instead of throwing them away.

The appeal came after the government said the use of the protective gear is no longer mandatory in almost all public areas in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and below.

In a Facebook post, The Plaf said the public can clean and sanitize their face shields, then drop them off at specified collection points along the metro.


"We are gladly [accepting] those in our warehouse or at our collection points, dropoff points. We have several of them in NCR,” said The Plaf chief product officer Anne-Sophie van Der Spek.

“We take them. We shred them. And we put them into our formulation and turn them into lumber,” she said.

Founded in 2018, The Plaf collects plastic waste from different communities and barangays in Metro Manila, then turns them into eco-lumber which they eventually sell.

“We collect all types of plastic waste. We bring them to our sorting warehouse, where we sort them, segregate them, clean them. And then we shred them into flakes and pellets. And this is where we will mix them into a specific formulation,” van Der Spek explained.

“Then they go, then we heat them up through an extrusion process. So they go in various molds. We currently have two sizes of lumbers. And then we extrude them into these planks and posts. And these are ideal for your outdoor furniture, fencing, decking, boardwalks. And we’ve also made our own housing prototype recently.”

Van Der Spek said the resulting ‘eco-lumber’ is long-lasting, low maintenance, and durable.

“So, [it’s] really ideal for outdoor furniture that last long without repairing them anytime soon,” she said.

Aside from The Plaf, Akbayan Partylist also recently put up a "Palit Face Shield" booth in Quezon City, where residents were able to swap their old face shields with vitamins, face masks, and bottles of alcohol.

The Philippines has contributed 36 percent of the plastic waste that ended up in the world's oceans, according to a study.

--ANC, 23 November 2021